In a momentous yet unsurprising turn of events, Business Insider‘s Allan Smith is now reporting that federal prosecutors have in their possession not one but twelve tapes from the office of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen.
Last week, the New York Times reported that Cohen had secretly recorded Donald Trump discussing the hush money payment to his former mistress Karen McDougal, a Playboy model who had an affair with the president shortly after Melania Trump gave birth to his son Barron.
Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for former Trump mistress Stephanie “Stormy Daniels” Clifford, predicted this weekend that there were more tapes to come — and was proven right in the blink of an eye.
JUST IN: There are AT LEAST 12 Cohen tapes! pic.twitter.com/RdDPfn9QUX
— Allan Smith (@akarl_smith) July 23, 2018
As of yet it is unclear whether or not the tape referenced in Friday’s report is one of the twelve or a separate audio recording.
Caveat: Unclear whether the Times story on the Cohen secretly audiotaped conversation with Trump on the Playboy model payment relates to one of these “items,” or some as-yet undisclosed audio item.
— Adam Klasfeld (@KlasfeldReports) July 23, 2018
President Trump took to Twitter this weekend to declare the recording of him “illegal” and “unheard of.”
Inconceivable that the government would break into a lawyer’s office (early in the morning) – almost unheard of. Even more inconceivable that a lawyer would tape a client – totally unheard of & perhaps illegal. The good news is that your favorite President did nothing wrong!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 21, 2018
Unfortunately for him, it is neither. New York is a one-party consent state, which means only one party needs to be aware that the conversation is being recorded, and given Trump’s long track record of throwing everybody around him under the bus at a moment’s notice, Cohen would have been a fool to not make sure he had some insurance when everything hit the fan.
Cohen has been a close confidant and legal advisor to Donald Trump for nearly eleven years, and anyone with a passing knowledge of Donald Trump’s philandering habits and treacherous nature doesn’t need to stretch their imagination too hard to figure out what might be on those tapes.
Federal prosecutors are investigating Cohen for possible bank fraud and campaign finance violations due to his role in setting up a shell company through which he not only used campaign funds to purchase the silence of Stormy Daniels but also the laundering of enormous pay-for-play bribes from Russian oligarchs and multinational corporations.
All the evidence is pointing to Cohen cooperating with federal investigators in the investigation against his former boss — and these tapes could hold the evidence that brings the whole house of cards tumbling down.